Where the runway meets the street

As loungewear swiftly becomes a permanent fixture in our everyday outfits, we equally as swiftly need to find ways to distinguish it from the clothes that we wear when we actually lounge. The easiest way to do this is usually through the paint splatters and food stains that cover our inside-loungewear. Yeah, right. No self-respecting anybody should dare stoop as low as that. Stakes are high and you can’t afford to let your style game slip for a second. So some genius decided to take the humble zip and place it somewhere it’s rarely been placed before. That’s right. Adding this hardware to the side seams of a common jersey sweatshirt takes it from super-casual to involving too much metal to comfortably slob about on your sofa in, case in point is this Villain Hoodie from John Elliott & Co.

The second consequence of this seasonal glut of sweatshirts is an increasing necessity for brands to distinguish theirs from others. Here, once again, is where the side zip comes in. And with a zip comes two settings – open and closed. Clothes that transform give you the feeling that you’re getting more for your money, like a reversible jacket, or those ’90s adidas popper tracksuit pants that allowed you to let a little more breeze in and around your ankles. The difference with a side zip on a sweater is its usability. Who out there is regularly rotating the sides of their reversible jacket? Open those zips up, however, and there’s a whole load more fabric to show underneath. Just think of all the potential tonal accenting.

It might have started with streetwear but it’s definitely catching on. Even French fashion house Carven has decided to get on board with a slightly more traditional cable knit jumper. And the addition of that little side zip shatters those traditions into a million pieces. It’s like adding a fishtail to a shirt or lining your jacket with something totally unexpected. Catch the garment at the right angle and boom, it’s suddenly teaching you a lesson in how not to judge a book by its cover. So we might not be talking about some kind of fashion revolution here, just a recurring trend that we’ve noticed, but my bet’s that pretty soon you’ll be needing some plain, basic-ass hoodie just in order to wear something different to all your side-zipped sweatshirts.

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